Now that Apple has updated their entire MacBook Pro line with retina displays, speculation now turns to Apple’s other notebook line. The MacBook Pro updates also provided some Air like features including thinner profile, SSD storage, and instant-on technology. The MacBook Air has become Apple’s entry level notebook, and yet a retina display has come to all of Apple’s other portable lines. The retina versions of the 13” & 15” MacBook Pros come with a premium price, but that also includes the switch to SSD, and the thinner profiles, both of which the Air already has.
The retina display premium might not actually be that expensive, and Apple could just create a separate retina line for the Air, and keeping around the non-retina version just like on the Pro. The main obstacle of the retina display isn’t the price as much as including the necessary battery power inside the thin design of the Air. The newest rumors on a retina MacBook Air comes from Taiwanese newspaper Economic Times that reports Apple is working with suppliers for a third quarter launch of the next generation MacBook Air. The next generation is likely to include an internal upgrade to Intel’s latest Haswell chips, but also an external “facelift” that could include a retina display.
At this point, it’s just a rumor, but a retina display on the MacBook Air seems inevitable. It will come down to Apple being able to balance prices, and find dense enough batteries to maintain the Air’s battery life, and size with the power hungry back-light, and new discrete GPU needed to power the retina display.